“Hace 20 años que los catalanes votamos lo mismo respecto al eje que fue nacionalista; después soberanista y luego independentista, pero que siempre nos ha dividido en dos mitades. Dentro de cada bloque, ha habido trasvases de votos y bailes de siglas, pero, pese al terremoto político y económico que hemos sufrido, las dimensiones de los dos se han mantenido y se mantienen hoy en las encuestas que anticipan un país ingobernable”.
The Catalan parliament reconvened on January 17th, to elect a new speaker. Judging by the proceedings, there is not much cause for optimism. Continue reading Carles Puigdemont has become the worst enemy of Catalan independence movement
Catalonia has lived a terrible week. After a controversial and illegal referendum which took place on October 1st, the region has plunged into uncertainty. A wave of demonstrations unfolded across Catalonia and the rest of Spain. Continue reading Why a unilateral declaration of Catalan independence would be a bad mistake
Any independent Catalan state would undoubtedly find itself outside the European Union. This has now been determined beyond doubt and it is important that the Catalans know it. Continue reading It is important to know that an independent Catalonia would be outside the EU
In light of the appalling terrorist attack in London on Saturday, and many others before, it is imperative that there should be no retaliation towards Muslim communities in the West. Such overreaction is precisely the sort of scenario that the fanatics of the so-called Islamic State want. It would serve as a wonderful recruitment drive for them.
What should we do to make ourselves safer? This is a rather difficult question but what is clear is that we need an honest debate. Clearly, one facet of the solution is to increase spending on security and intelligence, including police presence on streets. Another one is to look at the countries and groups (not just the IS) that support and inspire terrorism. Ultimately, governments must engage with all their citizens and look at their grievances which can provoke a radicalised minority to react in such a murderous way.
Debates and other events can do important groundwork in terms of engaging with particular communities and informing and enlightening others. One such event is organised by the Socialist Party (PSC) in Barcelona on Saturday June 10. It is called Parlem de Islamofobia: Un combat contra la dicriminacio (We talk about Islmophbia: fight against discrimination). This is a worthy initiative and there should be more such events everywhere.
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Catalonia, a prosperous region in the northeast of Spain, still seems to be largely associated with Barcelona, holidays, football and sun by the outside world. This may change, however, because of the region’s divisive political momentum. The central issue is that of Catalan independence from Spain. Continue reading Anti-independence actors in Catalonia need to work together
European Union is facing a number of formidable, in some cases unprecedented challenges. The ongoing global economic crisis, the influx of refugees, the emergence of extremist populists across the continent, increasingly aggressive Russia, Brexit and the arrival of Donald Trump all have to be dealt with. Such difficult times evidently call for clarity and unity, but which is certainly easier said than done. Continue reading European Union must stand together and fight for its future